The Giants’ first-round selection of Chris Stratton out of Mississippi State was apparently not an anomaly in the Giants’ draft strategy.
It became very clear Tuesday what that strategy was … college pitchers, finishing their junior seasons.
Seven of the first eight players the Giants picked in this year’s draft fit that description.
Here’s a breakdown of those players selected Tuesday.
No. 84 — RHP Martin Agosta, St. Mary’s (CA) College — Like Stratton, Agosta emerged this season after going 10-12 in his first two seasons with the Gaels. He was 9-2 with 2.18 ERA and 95 strikeouts and 27 walks in 103.1 IP his junior season. The 6-1, 180-pounder throws a fastball in the 92-94 range with a curveball and changeup. On being selected by the Giants, he said: “I can’t believe my hometown team selected me. I was joking with my dad (that) I’ll probably get drafted by the Dodgers. And to be selected by the Giants is just a total dream come true.”
No. 115 — OF Johnathan “Mac” Williamson, Wake Forest — The 6-4, 240-pound outfielder belted 17 HRs and 52 RBI while hitting .286 for in 53 games for the Demon Deacons during his junior season. The right-handed batter fanned 41 times and walked 23 times in 192 ABs last season. He also was hit a team-high 13 times. He came to Wake as a top pitching prospect in North Carolina, but became one of the top power hitters in the ACC.
No. 148 — LHP Steven Okert, Oklahoma — Okert, a junior, is 9-7 with 2.78 ERA in 29 games (five starts) for the Sooners, who are will face South Carolina this weekend in the NCAA Super Regionals. He’s struck out 75 and walked 35 in 81 IPs. The 6-3, 210-pounder has recorded five saves after moving into the Sooners’ closer role. Could be on fast-track to majors as a reliever.
No. 178 — LHP Ty Blach, Creighton — Another college pitcher finishing his junior season, Blach was 6-6 with a 2.69 ERA in 21 starts (120.1 IP) for the Bluejays. He struck out 83 and walked 28. The 6-1, 200 pounder went 10-3 with 2.65 ERA as a sophomore.
No. 208 — RHP Stephen Johnson, St. Edwards Univ. (Texas) — The 6-4, 205-pounder is a hard-throwing right-hander whose draft stock surged after switching from starter to reliever. He has a plus fastball that can approach triple digits, but command is an issue. He was a first-team NCAA Division All-American as a junior in 2012, going 1-2 with 1.45 ERA and 18 saves. He struck out a whopping 74 batters in 43.1 IP, with 17 walks.
No. 238 — RHP Eduardo Encinosa, Miami (Fla.) — The 6-5, 242-pounder, who goes by “E.J.” was 3-3 with eight saves and an 2.79 ERA in 24 relief appearances (29 IP). He struck out 39 and walked 17. He’s another converted reliever, who went 5-6 with 3.45 ERA in 15 starts for the Hurricanes as a sophomore. But he had a team-best 2.20 ERA in 29 relief outings as a freshman. He was drafted in the 23rd round by the Twins out of high school in 2009.
No. 268 — LHP Joseph Kurrasch, Penn State — The 6-2, 205-pounder is a sophomore out of San Juan Capistrano, Calif. He pitched for Cal as a freshman before sitting out the 2011 season after transferring to Penn State. He went 4-2 with a team-best 2.05 ERA in 16 appearances (11 starts) for the Nittany Lions. He struck out 78 and walked 46 in 87.2 IP.
Other Giants selections
- Ninth round, No. 298 — OF Shilo McCall, Piedra Vista HS, Farmington, N.M.
- 10th round, No. 328 — C Trevor Brown, UCLA
- 11th round, No. 358 — OF Ryan Tella, Auburn
- 12th round, No. 388 — SS Jeremy Sy, Louisiana-Monroe
- 13th round, No. 418 — OF Ryan Jones, Michigan State
- 14th round, No. 448 — OF Tyler Hollick, Chandler Gilbert CC (Ariz.)
- 15th, round, No. 478 — C Leonardo Rojas, Miami-Dade CC